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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Interesting and nostalgic Russian film

9/10
Author: Sharon Porat from Israel
29 January 2005

Interesting movie, presenting a glimpse into another culture, undergoing massive changes, affecting everyone. Nostalgic, for it presents scenes from our past - cars, home interiors, different appliances. Nostalgic, for the lucky ones among us have been brought up with the aid of a grandma/grandpa - and we miss them a lot now. And of course - Russian - the view, the snow, the music and the people - such a great country, such a powerful life! I enjoyed the film for all possible reasons, it moved and stirred a lot. IMHO - especially for over 30s, for we all remember who helped and loved us in our upbringing years, and feel so lonely without them. It offered me a strange view into so many souls, all so common to our own.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Old Russia meets new (1990's were not kind to Russia)

10/10
Author: jherr
21 October 2006

Many people in the West have a difficult time understanding why Russian's seem to be so indifferent or even supportive of the slow erosion of freedom currently underway under Putin's regime. Some of this is due to the fact that Western media makes Putin's "reforms" seem much worse than they really are. However, much of this misunderstanding in the West is due, in large part, to the West's ignorance of all the troubles the peoples of the former USSR have had to suffer in the 1990's. These troubles have shaken up society so much in Russia, that stability is what matters now, more than anything else.

This film does a fairly good job of presenting much of the societal upheaval that took place during the 90's in Russia, by focusing on the relationships of one family that had to live through them. The film portrays traditional Russian (rural) culture and its conflicts with the new. At times the subject matter can be very funny and at other times downright heart breaking.

The acting, writing, and direction are all superb. This is one of those movies that I would say is a must see for anyone that is interested in Russian cinema.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Extended family dis-interest threatens grandmother

7/10
Author: Timothy Damon (thd@cwru.edu) from United States
29 March 2004

Tolstoy said that happy families were all alike; unhappy families are unhappy in their own distinct way.

In this family, grandmother Tosia - who dug ditches at the front in WWII, took care of her daughter's children, and divided the proceeds of the sale of her house to her two sons and daughter - is threatened with homelessness. Regardless of her sacrifices in the past for her extended family, scarcely any of her relatives express willingness to take her in. And the more well-off they are, the more antipathy they seem to possess.

Not necessarily a pleasant theme - but one probably existent in all cultures to some extent.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Grandmother Russia

8/10
Author: stensson from Stockholm, Sweden
1 August 2004

This is about Russia of today. A nation there, according to this movie, not only the economy is wicked but the people too. Even towards their old relatives.

Nobody wants the Babusya. Everybody thinks about themselves and their comfort. It's not a question of economy, it's just that they don't want the old lady in their homes, even if she digged trenches at Stalingrad, even if she sold her house and gave the money to her grandchildren and even if she is their grandmother.

People say things that you realise afterwards is important. "Satan exists" is said as a joke, but it isn't a joke, it's true. Some of the relatives have conscience and cries about their evilness and the fact that there is nothing they can do about it. A very dark film and also a religious one. See it, if you have the oppurtunity.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

How could the old Russia have raised the new Russians?

Author: Philippe Ranger (philipperanger@compuserve.com) from Montreal
30 May 2004

This is a made-for-HDTV film, and it shows. The cinematography itself is not great either, and the acting and direction are highly uneven (The title role is admirably played by Nina Shubina, but most of the cast is non-professional.) Put that down to the cost of getting the film made at all.

Story background -- The film takes place in the Archangelsk region. After raising her family, Tosia raised her daughter Vera's four children while she and her husband were off working on the trains on two-week shifts. The grandchildren are raised, Tosia has sold her house and given them the proceeds, and lives with Vera and her husband. For a tragic reason, she's sent off to her widowed younger sister's, in a village. The sister breaks a hip and her daughter Lysa, a successful TV journalist, tries to put Granny (Babusya) up with her cousins (Tosia's grandchildren). She essentially fails.

The object of the film, however, is not this story which, as others have noted, in one form or another is an ageless classic. Rather, it is the contrast between what may be called "old Russians", still centered on their village (mostly women and mostly old), and what the film calls "new Russians", the younger generation busy making it in the city, and which in ten or fifteen years has managed to perfectly learn to look out for numero uno. (Or perfectly unlearn humanity, as one "old Russian", Oleg (?), puts it to a new Russian.)

The hardest blows aimed at Granny occur in her absence, addressed to Lysa, who in a sense stands for the audience. Lysa explains to Oleg that "the new Russians are the masters of *that* world". Oleg answers, "Are you sure you're part of *this* world, then?"

The "old Russians'" daily life is carefully depicted. The film will interest those who are attracted by this depiction, and only then by the contrast with the "new Russian" class.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

must see it !

Author: Armand from Romania
4 March 2014

because it is a touching picture of Russia because it is a good support to understand the East Europe. because the performance of Nina Shubina is admirable. a not complicated story. nothing spectacular. not judgment or verdicts. only testimony about an old woman and the relations with her relatives. and it is enough. a film with old special flavor. almost a fairy tale who reminds the solid walls who defines our lives. a film about love, miracle and forgiveness, sacrifice and wise choice. and an amazing character who gives answer to blindness of the other grace to her huge dedication and manner to discover life sense. must see it only for rediscover science of profound simplicity to be heart of existence.

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0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, but overlong

Author: rjcvanveen from Rotterdam, The Netherlands
26 January 2004

I say "Babusya" at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. It's quite an entertaining movie, but the story takes too long to be told. The acting is good, as is the Russian scenery. The direction is quite good.

The story of the film is its biggest flaw. It's nothing more than showing different relatives of "Granny", and how they all refuse to take her in. The movie is only 90 minutes long, but it seems so much longer because of this boring storyline.

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